Mikko Viitala

By Mikko Viitala

Software Developer

mikko.viitala@vincit.fi

LinkedIn

We can all agree that the year 2020 was an unusual one, but at the same time it also provided opportunities for experimenting on remote work models. At Vincit, many people were already working remotely, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company decided to try offering a new type of location-independent contract.

I joined Vincit in the fall of 2020 and was one of the first people to sign a new type of full-time telework agreement. In this blog post, I’m going to share my thoughts and experiences as a teleworking software developer.

Something old, something new

I ended up at Vincit in the fall of 2020 when an ex-colleague of mine tipped off the Vincit recruitment team about me and my skill set. It didn’t take many weeks for me to get through various interviews and sign a new type of employment contract that allowed me to work remotely full-time.

At Vincit, I work as a software developer. I have several years’ experience in mobile and web development in various industries, but at the moment I mainly work on location data in the forest sector and on Windows development using .NET technologies. My daily routines also include planning and keeping in touch with the clients and the team.

Although I had worked remotely before, the work had been much more restricted. At Vincit, things are different.

Location-independent work

Vincit’s telework agreement is meant for people who don’t work anywhere near the Vincit offices. In practice, these people can work wherever they want, from the vast northern expanses to the southernmost parts of the archipelago. You’re free to choose where you want to work now and in the future, regardless of any long-term effects the coronavirus may have on our working culture. The full-time telework agreement is available to employees with a sufficiently senior status, who are able to independently carry out long-term projects.

For me, moving to Tampere or the Helsinki area was not an option, as I had built my life elsewhere. Working in my hometown was the only option for me, but luckily the remote work contract allowed me to do just that.

So, what is my job as an entirely location-independent software developer like? I work in my early 20th-century house, where I have an office that separates my job and my established work routines from the rest of my life. The office space has been set up making use of Vincit’s employee benefits, including various devices and office tools, such as a standing desk. Each Vincit employee is also able to benefit from a small budget meant for customizing one’s workspace. Apart from lunch, my days are structured around remote coffee breaks with my colleagues. This has proven to be an excellent way of getting to know the work community and my colleagues. Taking part in Vincit’s social clubs has also provided a great way of meeting people.

But what about those pros and cons?

All in all, my experiences as a teleworker have been positive, although I did run into some bumps during the first couple of weeks. When I started at Vincit, I had many questions that I needed answers to. With no colleague to physically turn to, getting the answers I needed required more work. Luckily, I could always contact my designated People person, who was able to help me. The onboarding was also supported by a comprehensive Trello board, which I could check to see what was supposed to happen when and which also served as a to-do list for the first couple of weeks.

On the pro side, location-independent work has enabled me to have a great work/life balance. Remote work gives me freedom but at the same time requires me to be more responsible for what I do. I can get to work by taking only a few steps and, having kids, I appreciate the fact that I’m able to organize my days with plenty of flexibility. At my home office, I’m able to work uninterrupted – something that doesn’t always happen when working in a shared office space.

Who would I recommend full-time telework to? In my experience, it’s best suited for people who don’t miss the buzz of a normal office. As long as the company isn’t one of those places where you find the boss looking over your shoulder all the time, it doesn’t really matter where you work. In that sense, I don’t see why this way of working couldn’t be for just about anybody.

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